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World Economic Survey 1986

Current Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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The large imbalances in trade and payments that have in recent years characterized the world economy persisted in 1985 and early 1986. In particular, unprecedented disequilibrium prevailed in the trade and financial relations of major industrial countries, and there was a continued overall net transfer of resources from developing to developed countries, largely related to the international debt crisis. Both of these situations were, in the course of 1985, increasingly perceived as unsustainable, economically as well as politically.

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Systemic issues in the international trade and monetary fields

The current world economic situation and the medium-term prospects for the world economy cannot be seen in isolation from the framework of the institutional arrangements within which the international economy is supposed to function. These arrangements, largely established at the end of the Second World War, were designed primarily to ensure a degree of stability and openness in the international economy which were considered essential for the healthy growth of world output and world trade after the disastrous experience of the period between the two world wars. These arrangements are often referred to as the international trading system and the international monetary system.

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